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One Moment, One Morning

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  5,162 ratings  ·  766 reviews
The Brighton to London line. The 07:44 train. Carriages packed with commuters. A woman applies her make-up. Another occupies her time observing the people around her. A husband and wife share an affectionate gesture. Further along, a woman flicks through a glossy magazine. Then, abruptly, everything changes: a man has a heart attack, and can't be resuscitated; the train is ...more
Trade Paperback, 408 pages
Published March 3rd 2010 by Picador (first published 2010)
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Average rating 3.45  · 
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 ·  5,162 ratings  ·  766 reviews

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Sandra Grauschopf
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2013
One day in the future, when I'm old and grey and looking back on all of the books I've read in my lifetime, the good ones and the bad... this one probably won't be on the list at all.

It's not that it's terrible or a complete waste of time, it's simply not memorable in any way.

The basic summary is this: one average morning on a commuter train, a fairly young man unexpectedly dies. The story follows three women who are touched by the death, who then go about making some changes in their lives tha
Juliana Graham
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was instantly gripped by this book even though looking back not a huge amount happened after the initial dramatic event. It is more a chronicle of the aftermath of a tragedy and how all the people affected by it pull together and move on. Some scenes were particularly moving and nearly brought a tear to my eye but I think that overall the book was a positive one and showed that there is light at the end of every dark tunnel, no matter how bad things seem at the start.
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
The fact that at one moment lives can be shattered and turned around is something that we all experience at one point in our lives. Karen, Anna and Lou, the main characters of this book are brought together by this one incident. How this incident affects their lives and their friendship is the focus of the book. The characters are likeable and real and you want to get to know them. Although the story takes place in London, it is something that can happen anywhere. The author keeps you interested ...more
Aug 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, chick-lit
I picked up this book on a shopping spree at Amazon simply because I liked the cover, well okay, not entirely the truth. A quick read of the description and I was sold. I liked the idea of that one defining moment that changes the lives of the ones witnessing it. But apart from that quick glance at the description, I didn't really know what to expect.

But by the end of page two I was caught in the drama, that one defining moment. It all happened so fast that I felt my head spinning. I didn't see
Oct 27, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: chick-lit
The review on the cover of the book said, "You'll laugh. You'll cry..." I don't who laughed at this book, but whoever it was has a very sick sense of humor. Now, cry I did, for about the first 4 nights of reading it. I blubbered myself to sleep each night, and then after that went into a mind-numbing depression while plowing through page after page of nit-picky detail. I'm going to save my savvy literary critique for another book. This one made me want to throw out the Prozac and shout "Yippee!" ...more
Pavithraa Swaminathan
“That's the tragedy of falling in love; it brings with it the potential for loss.”

A gripping book which brought to me a couple of revelations about myself and my life, One Moment One Morning was nothing short of an amazing breezy read! The story starts off with the ill fortune that befalls on Karen, one of the lead protagonists, and moves to give us all a detailed account of how a sudden death can affect the near and dear.

And more than the wonderful account of all the female protagonists a
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was an ordinary Monday morning on the 7:44 commuter train to London. Passengers were engaged in a variety of activities. A young woman named Lou, a people watcher, observes the intricate details of one young woman applying her makeup, while she notices that another is leafing through a glossy magazine. One couple, seemingly having a nice conversation, catches Lou's eye: they seem nice and compatible.

The train has pulled into the station; it is raining hard outside.

And then, suddenly, the man
I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads contest and am rather glad I did.

I would not have normally picked up a book like this to read and by winning it, I was able to read a book that was quite good. I would have normally passed it by.

It starts with a train trip that has a life changing happening unfold during it. It affects 3 women greatly. One the wife of the person that passes away, the other her friend who was in another train car on the same train, and the third the woman sitting across
Shelagh Rice
Aug 23, 2015 rated it liked it
This was an enjoyable light read. You don't have to concentrate too hard to read this one, just the thing after a couple of heavier reads. The 7.44 train from Brighton to London, an ordinary journey until a man has a heart attack. In the aftermath the story follows 3 women on the train that day and how that One Moment changed things for them all. There is a sequel to this called the Two Week Wait and I liked this one enough to read it.
Jun 10, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I thought the book was wonderful. At first, I was put off by the present-tense form of storytelling. Then I got pulled into the story itself.
One death: Simon's--unexpected. And three women's lives will never be the same. Karen, Simon's wife, has to cope with losing the man of her heart, and explaining this terrible event to their two very young children.
Anna, in a difficult relationship with a troubled man, comes to face the unvarnished truth of that relationship...and help her dear friend at
Val Penny
Oct 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
One Moment, One Morning was book of the month in my book group. It was written by Sarah Rayner, a British author. Rayner was born in London in 1963 and grew up in Richmond, Surrey. The author now lives in Brighton, England. She worked as an advertising copywriter before writing fiction full-time. This is the first book by Sarah Rayner that I have read and is not one that I would have chosen had the book group not picked it.

Having said that, I did enjoy the book. The original premis is clever. Th
Deborah Pickstone
Present tense - my bete noir. If she used it for this book only, it was appropriate. My guess is though she writes in present tense.

However - it dealt well with the issues for the most part and described well how some people feel when hit by bereavement - the sense of dislocation.

The scenes dealing with an alcoholic were realistic to the point of distressing for me.
Melanie Sobell
Jun 12, 2010 rated it did not like it
Bad book. Poorly written. Trite approach to massive topics (sudden death of husband; being gay; parental relationships - etc). And yet - I couldn't stop reading it. My recommendation is don't start. Not worth the time.
Jul 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book by Rayner was even better than the other one. This author has a unique ability to describe situations, conversations and inner thoughts with the spoken word. The story centers around a sudden death of a passenger on an early morning commuter train to London. One of the witnesses to the death is Lou, a perceptive younger adult with a heart of gold and who has worked with the homeless and with adults with addiction, either alcohol or drugs. As the story progresses, we see how one death h ...more
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: family-drama
I was so lucky to win this novel, "One Moment, One Morning" by Sarah Rayner.I found myself totally involved in the drama from page one.This novel follows a week in the lives of three passengers aboard the 07:44 from Brighton to London, and therein lies much of its charm – it’s about something that could happen to any of us.

Three women, Lou, Anna and Karen, witness the death of one of their fellow commuters, and this deceptively simple tale follows their lives for a week following that incident.
May 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
I bought this book because of the location it's set in, and I think that's become my main problem with it.

First of all, I found the writing rather clunky and this was only emphasised by the way she described Brighton.

Being from the town myself, I was irritated by conversations such as "Which hospital are you at?" "The Royal Sussex County Hospital" "What, in Kemptown??" which would just never, ever be said, ever, if you were from here. It is the largest hospital around and by just saying "The Roy
Maureen Neylon
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very likable and relatable group of women. Loved the way the bonded and supported each other despite such different lives and under trying circumstances.
Alison Bent
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not what I usually read. But a lovely book about the lives of 3 women.. just dealing what life brings..
warning.. it will make you cry
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One Moment One Morning
Author: Sarah Rayner
Reviewed by Fran Lewis

Observations can often be startling when what you see changes the course many lives. Starting her day in the usual manner, Lou enters one of the carriage cars of a train, sits down and begins taking note of those around her. One girl is trying to perfect her look using every makeup too she brought with her. Another couple sitting directly opposite from her and trying to be discreet in his actions, the husband using a slight gesture
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sarah Rayner is an author I have only recently come across and this is the first book I have read of hers. Impressed by this début novel I have already sourced a copy of her latest published last year 'The Two Week Wait'. The subject matter of this story is a sad one but the author carries it off with out becoming unduly sentimental and with good characterisations. The main themes of the novel are death, grief, alcoholism and sexuality, cleverly dealt with this made for a pleasurable read. I als ...more
Patrick Neylan
Sep 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 21st-century
If you're looking for deep, thoughtful literature, look elsewhere. "One Moment, One Morning", for all its serious issues (bereavement, alcoholism, lesbianism) is a light, almost gentle book. The publisher's comparisons to Kate Atkinson are not unreasonable, but Rayner's writing has nothing like the same depth.

Nonetheless, her characters are likeable and her novel is very readable. I rattled through all 400 pages in just over two days, partly because the book is well structured, the prose is clea
Lynn Dolven
Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was ok
The last of my most recent stash of "airport" books - and that's a good thing! It was touted as "A masterfully written novel about the healing power of friendship, this is the story of three women whose lives become inextricably linked after a life-changing event during their morning commute into London." If only this had been an accurate description of the book! The author effectively explores the emotions surrounding the sudden and premature death of a husband and father. One of the subplots w ...more
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaways, rom-com
Disclaimer: this was a Goodreads first look giveaway.

At the start of One Moment, One Morning, a man dies on a morning commuter train to London. The story is about three women affected by this, his wife Karen, his wife's best friend Anna, and Lou who was sitting across from the couple on the train. As a light rail transit commuter myself, I thought Sarah Rayner's description of the chaos surrounding his death and the impact on the fellow passengers was spot on. The beginning of the book was very
Jun 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A simple enough story, 3 women on a train to London when one's partner has a fatal heart attack and dies. Karen , widowed and bereft has to deal with the sudden loss and her young children's emotions. Anna who is Karen's best friend is left to help Karen pick up the pieces and offer support despite going through some tough times herself and Lou who witnessed the event and isn't being entirely truthful about her life.
A book that captivated me from the start, the author has clearly researched the
Shruthi Maniraj
Nov 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
It’s a fairly normal morning on the 744 train fr Brighton to London line. Three women on board on the train have no clue that their life is about to spin a 180. Lou is applying her makeup. Karen is flipping through a magazine, while sharing a few normal, happy moments with her husband. Suddenly, simon passes away due to a heart attack and he can’t be resuscitated. Apart from the initial event, the book is more of an account of the tragedy and how these women deal with this event, that changed th ...more
Aug 11, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I only picked up this book because it was on a BOGOF! There was only a small selection of choice and as I live close to Brighton so that sold it to me! Firstly, having just finished Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger - where I didn't give a damn about the characters - this was the complete reverse - I cared about each and everyone right from the start - be prepared that this book tugs at the heartstrings and I did feel quite low at points throughout the story - it left me with a touch of ...more
K.B. Walker
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I "enjoyed" this book, as much as you can a story about bereavement. It held me tight throughout the journey of the three women and made me want to give my hubby extra cuddles. Moving and thought-provoking.
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a truly good read. Just a moment that changes the course of a few women's life. Easy to read, hard to put down. I got very involved in their lives although the story is only over a few days.
Recommend this as long as you don't mind a tear or two .
Kate Hayman
Jun 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
This does not do what it says on the tin!! When I read about it, it stated it was "gripping" but instead, it was just a really sad story of bereavement and grief. It was well written and told the story well but just wasn't the book I believed I was going to read.
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Sarah Rayner ( is the author of the international bestseller, 'One Moment, One Morning' (2010). Her two latest novels, 'The Two Week Wait' (2012) and 'Another Night, Another Day' (2014), are also set in Brighton, England, and feature some of the same characters.

As a novelist, Sarah is known for tackling difficult subjects such as bereavement, infertility and mental illness wit

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“She has no regrets; she knows now he could never have made her happy, even though he has, apparently, joined AA, is doing better. But sobriety is his journey, not hers; he needs to do it for himself, alone. Still, she misses him hugely, doesn't feel ready for another relationship yet. But as time passes, she hopes that she might be, eventually, with someone new, easier, kinder.” 13 likes
“That's the tragedy of falling in love; it brings with it the potential for loss.” 13 likes
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